I was talking to another author before who had decided to forego traditional publishing, deciding instead to create his own imprint market, through which he could publish his writing.
I have been weighing the possibilities of self-publishing for awhile now, despite, for many years, dismissing it outright.
As a kid, I heard of vanity publishers who would release your novel, printed and everything, in order to boost the ego of whatever writer was dumb enough to listen to their sweet talking. The books that made it to the vanity press’s shelves were about as meaningful and significant as any fanfiction. Like fanfics, the quality varied. Some fanfictions are spectacular, while others are unbearable.
Amazon’s self-publishing market didn’t ease my nerves.
The sad truth of the matter is that self-publishing, for many years now, has been linked irrevocably in my head with “giving up.” That’s not to say that self-publishing is giving up–in fact, it might be harder in some cases than traditional publishing–but there is an element to it that seems like surrender. The big agencies weeded you out, and now you’re trying to set your roots among the rocky underbelly of the world.
However, this perspective on self-publishing is out-dated, even close minded. There are other means to become successful.
I only fear them.
I believe, in some small part, that I am avoiding an inevitable confrontation. Since I was a boy, I have obsessed over traditional publication. I never bothered to consider–in fact, I refused to consider–any alternatives. I would go the traditional route with agencies and publishers. That was that.
However, industries change. The world changes. While I stand with my head in the sand, the game around me is changing. The trick this wily fox must learn is not how to ignore change in a pursuit to keep the pace, but rather how do I integrate with the system, and work around my limitations rather than submit to them?
I haven’t been blogging in quite some time.
I almost completely ignored this blog for some time. I’m not entirely sure why. All I do know is that I made a grave mistake in doing so. I feel like I missed many an opportunity to actually start doing things with my writing, whatever those things might be. Of course, this blog was never super huge or popular in the first place, nor will anyone actually be looking at this after having written it. Still, I intend on getting into the habit of using this blog, coming back onto it, creating a web presence…that sort of thing.
I have been writing ever since, of course. Writing short stories, writing novels, novellas, the whole nine yards. I have several works that I have created that can, potentially, lead me into success. So far, though, I’ve been unsuccessful. I cannot become discouraged. I cannot allow myself the liberty of looking for an easy way out.
Writing the great novel.
These must be what I focus on, what I become passionate over. I cannot allow myself the liberty of looking at easy solutions to the great problems I deal with.
What must I do?
I must find an agent. I am querying for my current work in progress, a young adult paranormal novel titled Surrender. If an agent doesn’t bite, I’ll look into smaller press or self-publishing, then work up the ranks from there. With any luck, the following work should prove successful.
I have a secondary series of books I wrote awhile back on the back burner. I’m thinking about pulling those out of my hard drive, polishing them up, and maybe, once again, shipping them to a smaller press.
I started big at first. I wanted to become a great writer by launching my writing to the agents first. I think I might need to prove my worth first. I need to prove that I CAN write before I try to get my books everywhere. I need to create a web presence. I need to create a fan base.
I need to be a writer, and not hope that success waltzes onto my lap out of the blue.
I must be vigilant.
I must be great.
This post is going on for much too long, so I’ll silence myself now.
Do you ever regret following your dreams?
When going into college, many people laughed when I said I was going to be a literature major. “What can you do with a BA in English?” If what everyone told me was true, the only things I had to look forward to, after college, was a career in–well, no one could really tell me. I wasn’t going to be a nurse, or an engineer, nor would I create any new, brilliant websites. People made a few guesses about what my future jobs would be, but no one could give me a straight answer. No one could give me a good idea on what to expect from the future.
So I decided to really think about what I REALLY wanted to do.
Since I was a child, I’ve always loved stories. It doesn’t matter what medium the stories come from. Books? Movies? TV? Cartoons? Anime? Comics? Doesn’t matter to me. I inhale stories on a daily basis, to the point where I don’t even see stories like normal people. When I’m confronted with a story, I break it down. I take apart the elements of it, criticize it, praise it, see what works and what doesn’t. I gain an appreciation for story telling that most people who just taste stories don’t. After all, most people don’t devour stories quite like I do.
So I digested stories, but where do I store the nutrients?
It would be a waste to just let those empty calories gather up, wouldn’t it? Calories, like knowledge, have to be employed, used for some positive output. I had to exercise my critical brain in some way. The question remained how. Was that why I became an English Major? To break down books and exercise my brain?
Perhaps, but I want more.
What else did I love? Writing. I was always writing stories. Not just ordinary stories, but big ones. Novels. Huge epics that drew from the countless stories I lovingly devoured. I consumed so much that it would be a waste not to produced something that could be devoured by others, right? Maybe something that other people could lovingly dissect and take apart, or just tasted by enough people to lure them in for a second bite?
From there, my future seemed set in stone.
What you are reading now is the account of my quest, and more than that a collection of the works I have digested. This blog will be my entrails, and the post is–well, it certainly isn’t my waste since I hope someone reading this will draw something out of it. If that sounds nasty, well, I’m a writer. If I’m going to be paid for writing it certainly will be for memorable analogies.
– Anthony Gramuglia, future writer.